Strawberry Picking: Which Farms Are Open for U-Pick This Year? (Plus Map!)

We have a berry sweet activity for your family this summer! Farms are working hard to follow health safety guidelines and create a special and safe activity for your family to enjoy. Strawberry picking is such a fun outdoor activity for your family to keep you busy this summer. My family loves fruit picking with our three young kids. The plants are low to the ground and very accessible for little hands. Use our guide to find U-Pick strawberry fields within driving distance of Chicago.

Local Strawberry Farms with U-Pick Strawberries This Summer

The strawberry season usually begins in mid-June and continues for 3–4 weeks depending on the weather and how many people come to pick. This can vary with weather patterns, so it is best to check with the farm you are planning to visit to find out when they expect to open for the season. Most farms recommend checking their Facebook page or calling beforehand for more up-to-date information regarding their crops.

Due to COVID-19, we encourage you and your family to be familiar with the social distancing policies of each farm to make sure you feel comfortable before leaving. Things will look different from state to state, but remember to do what you feel comfortable with for your family. Stay safe and happy picking!

Strawberry Picking Map

Places Open for Strawberry Picking in 2020

Cody’s Farm
19502 River Road
Marengo, IL 60152
(815) 568-7976

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 15-20; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • “Due to Covid-19 there maybe changes to the 2020 U-Pick Season to make less handling and to limit employee/customer interaction. Check Back.”

Garwood Orchards & Farm Markets
5911 West 50 South
La Porte, IN 46350
(219) 362-4385

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 10, 2020; check website or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 5:30 pm.
  • Last wagon leaves at 5:00 pm.
  • New in 2020: Sunflower Field

Heider’s Berry Farm
1100 North Queen Anne Road
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 338-0301

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 15, 2020
  • Hours: Daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • “We will be open for upick strawberries following the guidelines put out by the U of I Extension office.”

Johnson’s Farm Produce
8960 East Ridge Road
Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 962-1383

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 13, 2020
  • Weekday $3 donation per person for entry for U-Pick. Buy 5 buckets, get the 6th free!
  • Weekend Festival U-pick $8 per person
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
  • Call before arrival to be sure strawberries are ripe and still available.
  • Covid-19 Rules here : Strawberry Festival
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Mary’s Berries
9495 E 1500N Road
Momence, IL 60954
(815) 472-6015

  • U-Pick Target Date: Second week of June 2020, call for exact date.
  • Call for hours and days of U-Pick berries.

Olive Berry Acres
2575 West Mine Road
Mazon, IL 60444
(815) 474-6511

  • Target Date: Mid June, 2020
  • Hours: Monday – Tuesday CLOSED, Wednesday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday  9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Rosey’s Berry Farm
1066 N 1150 West
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 874-2981

  • U-Pick Target Date: Second to third week of June 2020; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Daily 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Spring Bluff Nursery
41W130 Norris Road
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
(630) 466-4278

  • Small amount of u-pick strawberries available, along with u-pick vegetables

Stade’s Farm and Market
3709 West Miller Road
McHenry, IL 60051
(815) 675-6396

  • U-Pick Target Date: mid-June 2020; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Price: $5 for a 1-quart basket, $8 for 2-quart basket, $14 for a 4-quart basket.
  • A $5 minimum strawberry purchase per person is required to enter the strawberry patch.
  • Hours: Daily 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.
  • “Check back to read the guidelines and expectations, for both the farm and our guests, as we maneuver through the changes that Covid-19 has brought forth.”

Susie’s Garden Patch
6828 Pleasant Street
Garden Prairie, IL 61038
(815) 597-3011

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 13, 2020 – you need to sign up for a time slot. If you wish to pick for more then 45 minutes please sign up for more than 1 time slot.  
  • Price: $2.00/lb
  • Masks are highly recommended for everyone over 2 years old
  • They will supply the containers and you will be asked to wash/sanitize your hands before heading to the field.
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Thompson Strawberry Farm
14000 75th Street
Bristol, WI 53104
(262) 857-2353

  • U-Pick Target Date: Middle of June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Price: $12 per 4 quart basket (cash only), pick 6 baskets and pay for 5 baskets.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.
  • “We ask that everyone wears a mask, and practices safe social distancing.”

Tom’s Farm Market
10214 Algonquin Road
Huntley, IL 60142
(847) 669-3421

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 15-18, 2020; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • “We are still planning on having U-Pick Strawberries in June of 2020, but it could look a little different this year due to COVID-19. Please check back as it gets closer for updates & instructions.”
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Farms Closed for U-Pick in 2020

Berryville Farm: No U-Pick Strawberries for 2020
424 13th Avenue
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 498-6648

  • “We will no longer allow customers to go into the strawberry patch and pick their own strawberries. This is a decision that we have not taken lightly but one that we must implement. Going forward we still plan on having pre-picked berries available, pending the outcome of the Coronavirus regulations.”

Blue Clay Berry Farm: No U-Pick Strawberries for 2020
5154 State Rd 50
Delavan, WI 53115
(262) 745-3720

  • Strawberries for Sale Target Date: Mid-June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • “This year’s harvest will likely look different than most years. We do anticipate being able to have u-pick blueberries in mid July. Check back for updates as the time gets closer.”

Guelde Strawberries: Closed
4779 East 1525th Road
Earlville, IL 60518
(815) 228-9603

  • Closed for the 2020 season.

Radical Root U-Pick Strawberries: Closed
31330 N Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048
(779) 400-5852

  • The Radical Roots Family decided not to extend their land lease and are looking forward to finding a new permanent location.

Planning Your Strawberry Picking Trip

Always call before you go picking to verify hours and crop availability. Ask if the fields are picked over or still have a decent amount of strawberries left to pick. Some fields are picked clean by lunchtime on the weekends!

Some farms do not supply containers, while others require that you use their supplied containers. Some farms even offer a discount if you bring your own buckets. Call to check the farm’s policies before you leave.

I also recommend asking when the fields were sprayed. Sometimes, freshly sprayed farms make it less appetizing for sampling as you pick. It’s way more fun, especially for the kids, to pick if you can taste along the way!

Things to Bring Strawberry Picking

Consider the heat and sun while picking. There often aren’t trees around strawberry fields so the berries can receive full sun, which means you will get full sun too! This may mean wearing a hat while picking, wearing sunscreen, and light clothing. You may also want to bring or apply bug spray before going as well.

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Pack water, and drink often! You are bent over, crawling on the ground and it is easy to get dizzy in the heat.

Bring a picnic lunch, or at least a snack and a blanket to eat on.

Don’t wear nice clothes or shoes. Especially with kids, you almost always get strawberry juice on your clothes. Usually there is straw or mulch between the rows of plants, but depending on how much rain there has been, there could be mud underneath, too. Bring a change of clothes for the kids (and maybe yourself too)!

Remember to bring supplies to keep you are your family comfortable and safe for 2020. You might want to bring face masks, gloves, exact change or use a credit card for payment, and hand sanitizer. Stay safe and have fun!

Strawberry Picking Tips

Unripe berries will not ripen once picked, so pick strawberries that are bright red (no white tips) but pass up the ones that have bruises or are mushy. The size of the strawberry will not affect its sweetness.

Many strawberries ripen under the leaves of the plant, so it helps to gently lift the leaves to look towards the center of the plant.

Strawberries keep better if you pick them with the cap and stem on. Pull the strawberry at the stem with a slight twist and it should come off with the cap and stem. Don’t stress about it too much though because they are still fine without the cap and stem.

When You Get Home

Don’t wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling. Wash in cool water to remove dirt and store in the refridgerator.

To freeze your strawberries: wash and hull them (cut off the green part and remove the core), dry them really well by patting them dry or laying them out to dry on your counter. Lay them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and put in freezer. When completely frozen, transfer them into ziplock bags, removing as much air as you can. Strawberries will be slightly mushier than other frozen fruits when unfrozen, but they are still delicious. Berries can keep for months in the freezer, so don’t hesitate to freeze extras!

For more ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air as a family, check out our outdoor activities page.

About the Author

Nicole Majewski
Nicole and her family live in Bloomingdale. She is a former teacher and now stay at home mom of three adorable kids. Her family loves to be outside, exploring nature and getting dirty. In the winter months, you will find them at the local library or an indoor play place.

5 Comments on "Strawberry Picking: Which Farms Are Open for U-Pick This Year? (Plus Map!)"

  1. We can’t wait to try this…never have. Would you mind sharing a favorite of these? There are so many to choose from!

    • We have gone to Thompsons and had a good experience there, but I’m considering trying a new place to explore and compare. I’ve definitely learned how important it is to call before going. The two most important things to ask in my opinion are: When is the last time you sprayed? (I don’t feel good about my kids sampling berries as they pick if the fields were just sprayed the day before) and How are the picking conditions? If it’s towards the end of their season there is a good possibility that picking will be frustrating and you will spend more time bending over and searching for berries compared to actually picking. That happened to us last year because we went too late.

      Maybe others can chime in too?

  2. Do you happen to know if any of the u-pick have organic strawberries?

  3. Matt Knight | June 9, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Reply

    This is such a great resource, thank you for creating and updating it!

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